Twin beaches at the very start on the wild Shipwreck Coast
Welcome to the Shipwreck Coast! You’ll see plenty of wild swell and big waves but struggle to spot another person!
The Shipwreck Coast stretches all of the way from Cape Otway to Port Fairy and Crayfish Bay is right at the eastern point of the rugged and rough coastline.
Getting to Crayfish Bay requires a short walk from the car park, which is at the end of a dirt track, otherwise the only way of coming across the stunning bay is by hiking along part of the Great Ocean Walk.
Crayfish Bay is made up of two pristine beaches right next to Seal Point. The bay is protected by a reef and plenty of submerged rocks. With all of the underwater objects, some decent waves will roll into the bay, but at the same time, it makes it a pretty unsafe spot for surfing unless you know exactly where to bail.
It’s a great spot to pull out the snorkelling gear and go exploring underwater where it’s teaming with fish life and of course, plenty Cray Fish ..AKA: Lobsters.
Being a relatively short distance from the Cape Otway Lighthouse with a track going directly from the lighthouse to Crayfish Bay, it’s a great spot for a short walk or small day hike when you’re in the area. The bay is stunning and there’s a good chance that you’ll have it all to yourself to enjoy.
Getting to Crayfish Bay
There are a few options that you can take for getting to Crayfish Bay, you’ve just got to figure out how far you feel like walking.
Crayfish Bay can be accessed by driving to a nearby car park at the end of the Crayfish Bay track, this is the closest option, but the best way is to walk in from the west, starting at the Cape Otway Lighthouse, which will take you less than an hour. Alternatively, you can walk for a bit longer and start from the east at either Parker Inlet or even further at Blanket Bay. As Crayfish Bay is on the Great Ocean Walk, you could even come from as far as the 12 Apostles in the west or Apollo Bay in the east and follow the same hiking trail the entire way, although it’d take several days to get there.
If you’re going to walk into Crayfish Bay from the closest carpark, the lighthouse or Parker Inlet, the directions are mostly the same. When you’re heading along the Great Ocean Road, you’ll need to take Lighthouse Road down towards Cape Otway – the turn-off for the road is between Apollo Bay and Lavers Hill in the Otways National Park and it’s very well signed.
Either follow the road all the way to the end, park at the lighthouse and then follow the walking trail that heads to the east, right near the entry/gate to the lighthouse where you can buy tickets or if you want to head to the Crayfish Bay car park or Parker Inlet/Parker Hill Campground, then about 10 minutes after turning off the Great Ocean Road and driving along Lighthouse Road, turn left at Blanket Bay Track and follow the signs to either destination.
Camping at Crayfish Bay
Crayfish Bay is between the Cape Otway Lighthouse and Parker Inlet on the Great Ocean Walk. You can camp at both places, but Parker Hill Campground can be booked on the Park Vic Website, it’s beautiful and affordable, where-as getting in touch with the Lighthouse centre operators can be a bit tricky, especially after hours.
If you’ve happened to drive in and then walk to Crayfish Bay and are happy to keep driving to find another campground, then you could try Blanket Bay Campground, which is a bit further to the east of Parker Hill Campground – you can walk there with-in a few hours of Crayfish Bay. A great free campsite is Aire Crossing Campground, which is around a 45 minute drive from Cape Otway.
Heading further towards to the Apostles, if you’re after a large campground that’s right on the Aire River which is great for fishing, try Aire River West Campground, otherwise if surfing is more you thing, then consider Johanna Beach Campground, which a pristine campsite just behind the surf beach.
The closest place that you can set up a tent to the 12 Apostles and Loch Ard Gorge is at Princetown, which is just inside the Port Campbell National Park. The best facilities are at the Apostles Camping Park and the most Kangaroos are at the more budget option, down at the Princetown Recreation Reserve.
Hiking past Crayfish Bay from the Cape Otway Lighthouse
Here’s a video of when we hiked from the Cape Otway Lighthouse past Crayfish Bay, then onto Parker Inlet, eventually reaching Blanket Bay and then looping back around to the lighthouse carpark.